Originally Published: February 24, 2014 6 a.m.
Ben Hansen's ideas in a recent Courier, "Talk of the Town: GOP needs new Contract with America," are not new. They may seem logical, but when defined, we realize just what the conservatives represent.
Introducing an independent auditing firm equals more privatization of government. Cutting House committees and staff means less government oversight. Casting of proxy votes in committee is already banned and committee meetings are already open.
Requiring a three-fifths majority to increase taxes is akin to signing Grover Norquist's irresponsible no-tax pledge.
A balanced budget means cutting services, government departments and much of the social safety net. It also means more pollution of air and water by corporations and less safety for workers.
A major crime package means more prisoners, and that means more profits for the corporations that run many of the prisons. Strengthening U.S. security means more dollars in the pockets of defense contractors, but less dollars for education and job-creating projects.
Increasing the Social Security earnings limit and repealing taxes on benefits only helps well-off seniors.
Boosting jobs by helping small business means cutting taxes for the rich.
Lawsuit reform means less protection for citizens and more protection for corporations. Hansen's "comprehensive immigration reform" is not affordable due to his penchant for cutting taxes for the rich.
The flat tax reform Hansen recommends will cut taxes for the rich and put the burden on the poor. Hansen's healthcare, i.e. keeping what we have now and adding coverage for pre-existing conditions and wellness care, is not affordable unless all have insurance. The ACA does this.
Hansen's approach is typical of the Tea Party. Trickle down economic ideas have been proven not to work, over and over again. The conservative tax cutting always benefits the rich and the programs they want to beef up always help corporations, not we the people.